Why we support the PKD Charity

Helen & Jayne off to the Isle of Wight Festival just a few months after the transplant in June 2008!

At Oyster Recruitment our chosen charity is the PKD charity – https://www.pkdcharity.org.uk

About 70,000 adults and children in the UK may have Polycystic Kidney Disease or PKD, life-threatening inherited conditions that can cause renal (kidney) failure and affect other organs in the body. They support those affected, their families and carers and raise awareness and fund research.

The reason we have chosen this charity is because Helen, one of our Directors at Oyster was born with Polycystic Kidney Disease and on the 3rd April 2008 she was given a lifesaving transplant when her best friend Jayne Donnelly gave her a kidney. Please read her story below:

Helen’s Story

I was 23 years old when I found out that I had inherited polycystic kidney disease from my Mum. I found blood in my urine so went to my GP who scanned my kidneys and found that there were multiple cysts growing inside both my kidneys. I was scared and apprehensive about my diagnosis and after a lot of different tests over a number of months I was told that my kidneys would eventually fail, my consultant predicted that this would happen in 10 years’ time.

Although I was scared about my diagnosis I had a lot of knowledge about transplants because my Mum had undergone 3 kidney transplants in her life along with a lot of other complications caused by her kidney disease including many years on dialysis. My Mum was such a strong positive inspirational lady and she gave me great hope for my future and confidence that I could get through whatever lay ahead.

As soon as I was diagnosed I had to take blood pressure tablets to try and slow down the process of end stage renal failure. I also had to take other medication to help my body get the nutrients the kidneys were no longer providing.

Polycystic kidney disease causes multiple liquid filled cysts to grow inside the kidneys damaging the good tissue which in turn reduces the function of the kidneys. Polycystic Kidney Disease is the most common life-threatening genetic disease, affecting an estimated 12 million people worldwide.

In early 2007 my Dad started having tests to see if he could donate one of his kidneys to me. Unfortunately after a year of ongoing tests it was found that he had diabetes therefore he was unable to donate. This was heat breaking news because my kidneys were getting worse and starting to have a significant effect on my health affecting every aspect of my life. Luckily my best friend Jayne said “have mine”, we had discussed this before just in case Dad couldn’t donate but I just couldn’t believe Jayne was willing to do such an amazing thing for me.

Jayne had a blood test and amazingly enough we were a match! I was so happy I couldn’t believe this was actually going to happen. We then went ahead with the rest of the tests to make sure she could donate and about 10 months later on the 3rd April 2008 the transplant date was booked. It was with very mixed emotions that I remember being wheeled off for the operation that day but I remember clearly when I woke up the next morning after surgery.  I felt instantly better, it was as if someone had switched the light on. My new kidney worked immediately (they don’t always) and my kidney function was normal. After 6 days in the hospital I was at home feeling great. My scar healed quickly and I was soon up and about again with lots of energy that I didn’t even realise I didn’t have before the transplant.

I hope my story has given you an insight into kidney transplants and why there is a need to keep raising funds for this amazing charity, to help patients through a very difficult time in their lives and to hopefully find a cure for kidney disease.

Oyster will be taking part in a number of events for the PKD Charity to raise money and awareness for Polycystic Kidney Disease and Organ Donation, please follow us and check out their website. We hope to do a sky dive one day… watch this space! 😉. If you are inspired by my story and would like to donate please click the link here – https://www.pkdcharity.org.uk Thank you!

22nd January 2020

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